|Original art by John Blanche for the cover of the UK Holmes Basic rulebook, from Tome of Treasures|
While working on yesterday's post I was reminded that the original cover art by John Blanche for the UK Holmes Basic rulebook still exists and is owned by the burntwire brothers, two longtime Acaeum members and top collectors with a you've-gotta-see-it-to-believe-it game room. They've done a nice job of sharing their art collection via photos available in the Acaeum Artwork Museum, Tome of Treasures Gallery of Original Paintings and Drawings (where I grabbed the above screenshot) and their photo gallery on the Illustration Exchange. Most of their collection is of more recent art; it's actually amazing that D&D art this old (1977) has been preserved. TSR disposed of a lot of early original art, but the UK version of the rulebook was published by Games Workshop under license from TSR. The burntwire brothers wrote in 2006 that they acquired the art from "a well known game designer in England" and that "when we heard it was available we had to have it. It is kind of cool owning the cover art to the first non-US Dungeons & Dragons product".
The ToT entry describes the art as being 7.5 by 9.5 inches, ink on heavy art board. The composition echoes the original Sutherland artwork, containing similar elements of dragon, treasure hoard, wizard with wand, warrior and archway, though from a different perspective. In this regard it is similar to the interior artwork, much of which is even more straight-forward re-drawings of the original art by Fangorn (Christopher Baker).